A toe fracture is a break in a toe bone. The bones in the toes are called phalanges.
|The Phalanges of the Foot|
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A toe fracture is caused by trauma to the bone. Trauma can result from:
- Dropping something on the toe
- Stubbing the toe
- Falling down
- A direct blow to the toe
Factors that may increase the chance of a toe fracture include:
- Increased age
- Poor nutrition
- Participating in contact sports
- Not wearing shoes
A toe fracture may cause:
- Swelling and tenderness
- Stiffness in the injured area
- Inability to move toe
- Bruising in injured area
- Numbness or tingling in the toes
- Visible deformity in the toe area
- Difficulty walking (sometimes)
You will be asked about your symptoms, level of physical activity, and how the injury occurred. The injured area will be examined. Your doctor may take an x-ray of the foot, but this is not always needed.
Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems with the toe, such as immobility or misalignment. Treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is, but may include:
To help reduce the chance of a toe fracture:
- Do not put yourself at risk for trauma to the bone.
- Wear proper fitting and appropriate shoes for any activity.
- Wear proper padding and safety equipment when participating in sports or activities.
- Do weight-bearing and strengthening exercises regularly to build strong bones.
To help reduce falling hazards at work and home, take these steps:
- Clean spills and slippery areas right away.
- Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords, rugs, and clutter.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or tub.
- Put in handrails on both sides of stairways.
- Walk only in well-lit rooms, stairs, and halls.
- Keep flashlights on hand in case of a power outage.